8 Building Blocks of Academic Writing

students writing essays

Writing an academic paper is not everyone’s cup of tea. Yet, all students must develop proper writing skills to excel in college. The main types of scholarly articles include analytical, descriptive, critical, and persuasive. Most academic papers combine these four styles for a balanced outlook. Knowing how to express your thoughts on paper guarantees easier essay writing and better grades in school. Academic writing is built on the following blocks.


Adequate research is essential for high-quality papers. Learners need to know where they can find material for their work and whether it is factual or not. Whether you are working with library resources or with online search engines, there is a high chance of encountering bias. Always be on the lookout for articles that feature one-sided arguments and avoid using their content.

There are two main sources of information: primary and secondary. While primary sources directly represent an author’s thoughts, secondary sources use someone else’s ideas. A combination of both types of sources is advisable to enable learners to have a larger data scope for their work. Developing research skills is essential for students to build solid arguments backed up with facts.

Rough Drafts

There is always a temptation to start writing and finish within the shortest time possible. Whether your topic seems simple or complex, it is advisable to prepare a rough outline. For instance, if you are writing a gun control essay, there is so much to talk about, given the topic’s popularity in recent times. Without an outline, you will waste a lot of time and risk omitting important data.

Your title should capture the paper’s main idea interestingly. Secondly, you need an introduction that states your opinion briefly, followed by the body where you back up your statements. This is where statistics and case studies come in handy. Finally, you will need to conclude your essay by summarizing the main ideas.


Paragraphs capture different ideas and allow you to organize your work for readability purposes. To build a good paragraph, you need effective sentences. Such sentences capture single views in a simplified manner and allow the reader to comprehend the content. They should support each paragraph’s main point without contradiction.

When writing your paragraphs, it is best to combine long and short sentences. Varying your sentence length prevents monotony and avoids creating ambiguity in your work. Extra-long sentences are difficult to comprehend and may discourage the average reader. It is advisable to have uniform paragraphs containing almost a similar number of sentences. This way, you can avoid overemphasizing some ideas while being too brief on others.


As you jot down your points, you have to keep in mind that someone might be hearing about the topic for the first time. A summary chronologically lists the main ideas to enable any reader to know the purpose of the article. This way, they can tell what the content is about at a glance and decide whether to continue reading or not.

Should they decide to look for another article, you will have saved such readers considerable time and effort. Your summary should be short and capture your essay’s most important ideas. While at it, it is imperative to ensure that the message remains unaltered.


Once you have all your ideas in one place, you can finally start writing down your findings. An academic paper begins with an introduction to invite your readers to the topic and briefly state your opinion. After the introduction is the body, made up of paragraphs conveying your paper’s key points.

The conclusion is the final part of your argument, and it wraps up the essay and states your point of view as an author. A good conclusion leaves a lasting impression on the readers and completes your paper on a high note.


Academic writing entails finding evidence to support your statements. It is not enough to just find supporting information. You need to make sure that your research material is reliable and of high quality. For instance, if you are using statistics, you need to be sure that they are accurate to avoid misleading your audience.

It is important to mention your sources in all types of academic papers. Remember to stick to the citation instructions provided by your lecturer. Sometimes, preparing reference lists can be challenging. Consider using referencing software to save time and create error-free lists.


Now that you are done writing, it is time to read your work and correct any mistakes. When your work is full of errors, you lower your chance of achieving a high score. Revision entails reading your paper and editing out mistakes, and there are many ways to do this. You can use a professional editor or grammar checker software. Hiring an editor every time you have an essay is costly. Grammar checkers are cheaper and available 24/7.


The presentation stage can be nerve-wracking for many students. Choosing a presentation style that suits your personality is important. For instance, confident speakers can present their work in the form of speech. Others can use slides to provide clarity for their audience. To deliver a flawless presentation, find enough time to rehearse and build confidence.


Many students struggle writing essays because they skip important steps when preparing their work. These guidelines offer a practical overview to enable every learner to create high-quality content and ace their academic papers.

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